PRESS RELEASE People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia Georgetown March 19, 2004




The crisis which has been created by the President and the PPP/C regime, due to the systematic undermining of the Rule of Law in Guyana, has its immediate manifestation in the revelations which have clearly linked the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj, to the existence and homicidal activities of state-sponsored Death Squads in Guyana.

All civilized people know that the maintenance and observance of the Rule of Law by the State is a vital pre-requisite for any functioning democracy. The PPP/C regime seems to be convinced that its mere election to Office places it and its retinue of corrupt and criminal associates above the Laws of Guyana. Therefore, the State protection of Narco-traffickers, criminals and the use of Death Squads to murder, terrorize and intimidate the citizens of Guyana are all represented by the regime as activities which they have a right to engage in.

The PNCR, WPA, ROAR, JFAP, the PMJ, the Trades Union Congress, individual Unions, other Civil Society organizations, the Churches, apart from the Diplomatic Community, recognizing the seriousness of this national crisis, have called on the President to immediately hold an independent and impartial public inquiry into the activities of the Death Squads. In that context, it is only morally and practically reasonable that the Minister of Home Affairs, who has been named and linked to the Death Squads, should demit Office to allow such an Inquiry to be conducted.

In all the circumstances, the PNCR tabled a Motion, at the last sitting of the National Assembly, on Monday 2004, March 15, seeking leave to adjourn the Assembly on definite matters of Urgent Public Importance, to wit allegations of the existence of State Sponsored death squad(s) in Guyana and the intimate involvement of the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Ronald Gajraj in directing these operations.

It is a matter of deep national regret that the Speaker rejected the Motion, thus preventing this matter from being dealt with in the National Assembly.

However, in rejecting that Motion, the Speaker advised that it should be submitted as a Private Members’ Motion under the Standing Orders. This was done by letter, of 2004, March 17, to the Clerk of the National Assembly and copied to the Speaker and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. Unfortunately, the Speaker has again found technicalities to continue to prevent the matter of the involvement of the Minister of Home Affairs in state-sponsored Death Squads from being dealt with in the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, the PNCR has written to the Clerk of the National Assembly, the Minister of Finance and copied these letters to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs pointing out that:

1. With respect to the Audit Bill, the Professional Accounting bodies have raised serious reservations which need to be considered. In addition, the Public Service Union has also pointed out that some of the provisions of the Bill, may infringe the Guyana constitution.

2. The late (on the night of Wednesday 2004 March 17) receipt of the Orders Nos. 7(28 pages), 8 (62 pages) and 9 (223 pages) of 2004 by members of the Opposition makes it impossible for these complex and important matters to be studied in depth and for a satisfactory response to be given to their provisions.

We have accordingly requested that these matters be deferred to future Sitting of the National Assembly to be determined by the Parliamentary Management Committee.

Taking into account all of the above, the PNCR finds it difficult to justify its participation in today’s Sitting of the National Assembly.

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown
March 19, 2004